Thursday, December 21, 2017

Chasing Your Best!

I wrote this letter (this is an edited version) to our program.  It applies to all of us I reckon...

An Ode to the 2017 Season

A high school football season is precious.  A young man only gets four of them if he is lucky.  Each season is unique in that the squad is composed of a different cast of characters each with their own contribution to make.  Some year’s we are big, some years we are fast, some years it is a mix of both.  The mortar between the bricks is the ability to catch, run, tackle, block, kick and pursue.  The rebar that runs between the bricks is the marrow of the game; unselfishness, toughness in adversity, heart, desire and a love for one another.  The arrangement of the bricks is the ability to do one’s part to the best of his abilities within the team schemes for offense, defense, punt protection and coverage, kick-off coverage, punt return, field goal/extra-point and kick-return.   In short many bringing their A-game to the practice and playing fields to become one heartbeat, one play at a time in common-cause.  There is “individual greatness” inside each man and when it is all focused in one direction, with one purpose something beautiful happens.  Something bigger than the physical, something magic and spiritual that creates a play or series of plays that are in the moment, that have never been done in quite the same way before and will never be done the exact same way again.  It is a song in the moment, it is creation, it is the work of many hands and it lasts a lifetime.  Quite simply, it is beautiful.  Beautiful because it was made from scratch and the product of many striving in unison for perfection.  Perfection as individuals is being the best we can be with what we have in a moment in time.  Perfection is tiered, it gets harder to obtain with each individual added to the equation.  The game played in between the sidelines, on the field of battle against an opponent determined to disrupt your efforts at every turn within the rules of play demands the ultimate in terms of perfection.  Let us go back to the phases of the game: Offense (11 Players), Defense (11 players), Kick-Off (11 players), Kick-Return (11 players), Punt Team (11 players), Punt Return (11 players), Field Goal/PAT (11 players) defending the Field Goal/PAT (11 players).   Now that is 88 players not including the 2’s and 3’s that have to be trained-up to fill in at a moment’s notice with no loss of effectiveness.  Really, that’s 3 x 88 brains, bodies and fighting spirits that have to coordinate themselves with the goal of perfection in the moment, where every player has to succeed for the other 10 to succeed on a given play.  That number is 264 players that have to be polished and precise TOGETHER to succeed.  Most games vary by the number of plays played between 120 and 150 plays.  That means at a minimum you have to have 264 brains, bodies and fighting spirits preparing and striving for perfection with 120 opportunities to do so….that folks is 31 680 combinations of a perfect effort to make a perfect play in one game.  Now, a regular season is nine (9) games.  That is 285 120 opportunities to achieve perfection together.  A championship season would be 13 games.  That is 411 840 opportunities to be perfect in the face of the headwinds of an opponent hell bent on disrupting a perfect team effort in one season.  

Herein resides the greatness of the game.  There is boundless and quite frankly, exponential opportunity for finding one’s bets self.  The pursuit of perfection as an individual, as a sub-unit, as a unit and a team is manifest.  There is a seat at the table for EVERYONE and the recipe for perfection season after precious season draws from its human ingredients that are as varied as the society we live in.  Within a school building there is a group of potential players that are walking the hallways.  As a coach, they are what you have so you give them all you have and that gang is the social contract.  Helping each player find their greatness and guiding them to perfection as a team is the challenge.  Coaching staffs are again, if you do the math, a group of architects and engineers with a similar exponential task before them.  The staff must be coordinated in terms of training for the ultimate outcome.   All those opportunities gang, they add up to the journey that is a season.  A precious season like none that has come before and like none that will ever follow.  When the final whistle blew this year, the last page of the 2017 season was turned.  The afterglow of the season we all authored together like a novel just read, will resonate for the rest of our lives.  When you look back at it, the journey reigned supreme over any win-loss record. Shakespeare once wrote that good memories are like roses in winter or something to that effect.  As we grow in to the winters of our respective lives remember those TEAMS you played on and you will will always live in the full bloom of those memories! 

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Value of Football

-We're supposed to be living in very sophisticated times, with sophisticated young people.  All worldly wise and knowledgeable.  How can the game of football still be important in that context?  I feel that it's more important than ever.  Where else can we walk out there even--everything the same--and compare?  Look around.  Maybe the football field's the only place left.  Maybe we've already lost it everywhere else.-
-Paul "Bear" Bryant

Is football the last outpost of discipline?  The grind of the gridiron separates it from other sports.  Where else-in what sport or activity-does a man line up directly across from another who could very well be bigger, stronger, smarter, older and more talented?  Yet he is expected to compete intensely for 60 minutes.  We ask him to give no quarter and take none.
It's been said that the most competitive men play the most competitive games.  Coaches and players know the undersized men can win because nobody has a market on heart, desire, motivation, and the will to win.  Football reveals these qualities in men and rewards them.
Teamwork is necessary in all group sports.  Yet, football digs deep into the true meaning of team, simply because 11 men must coordinate their efforts.  Vince Lombardi said the best definition of team is "one heartbeat."  To gain this requires total commitment, demands selflessness.
These qualities are not inherited and are rarely demonstrated in a laboratory or classroom.  No, football develops them through the grind, the difficulty, the unity necessary to blend into one.
Have you noticed that a redwood tree can mature to a full 300 feet (the length of a football field!) when fully grown?  Did you know that its roots do not sink deep?  Actually, they are very shallow.  It would appear that any good wind could knock over any redwood.
Do you know why that doesn't happen?  Redwoods grow in clusters.  Their roots grab one another-much like hands gripping on all sides.  Our best football teams reflect the same dependence.  A man learns to trust and depend upon others.
Bill Curry taught me the smartest definition of leadership.  He calls it a powerful positive presence.  If you are positive, your presence will be powerful.  Think about it-everyone can lead under this concept.  You need only to bring a healthy attitude to your squad every day and you are positively influencing your team.
There is a verse in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 20:8: "Who is the man who is afraid and fainthearted?  Let him depart and return to his house so that he won't make other hearts melt like his heart."
Did you know that when you are weak, you can make others around you weak?  If your heart is melting, so will others.  If you are strong, others will draw on your strength.  Football has a unique way of building leadership.  The very nature of our game depends upon leaders to emerge.

-To me, no coach in America asks a man to
make any sacrifice.  He requests the opposite.
Live clean, come clean, think clean.  Stop
doing all the things that destroy you
mentally, physically, and morally, and begin
doing those things that make you keener,
finer, more competent.-
-Fielding H. Yost

Think about it.  Football has not really changed.  Fielding Yost penned this quote some 80 years ago.  It is still appropriate today.  It is no sacrifice to play football.  In fact, it's a distinct privilege, an honor, an opportunity of a lifetime.
I think we can look people in the eye and promise that if their son wants to play football, chances are good that they will see (a) improvement in his self-esteem, (b) renewed respect for authority, (c) willingness to cooperate with others, and (d) inclination to participate in everything more wholeheartedly.
I believe football develops character.  There is no easy way to practice football.  it is often the most difficult thing a man undertakes in his lifetime.  It prepares him for the trials and struggles of life.

-1989 AFCA Summer Manual.  Coach McCartney was head coach at the University of Colorado.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas One and All!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

AA Varsity Playoffs Round 1

Wild Card Weekend

Boy oh boy did the season go by fast this year!  We now find ourselves in the playoffs.  Lets take a look.

Friday, 10 November

John Barsby Bulldogs vs Langley Saints: Here are two teams who have quietly had very positive seasons.  Offensively, both teams are very similar in their style of attacking defenses and moving the football.  Defensively, they could not be more different with Barsby's stubborn pursuit oriented squad vs the ever attacking and opportunistic Langley crew.  Special teams will be interesting to say the least, particularly kick-offs and punts.  Size and team speed are pretty evenly matched.  Barsby's roster has a bit more playoff experience than the visitors.  Home field goes to the Dawgs.  This game will be a defensive struggle with a couple big plays either way making the difference.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 8  

Clarence Fulton Maroons vs Samuel Roberts Technical Titans:  SRT features some very big and skilled running backs and receivers.  They are no slouches up front either.  Fulton is playing on home dirt and is a real team in every sense.  The Maroons have a very tough running game and are a big play threat via the air at any given time.  Defensively, they are tough and swarm to the football.  The Fulton punting game is excellent and they can really get themselves on a short field using it. Coach Scheller is one of AA football's treasures.  His teams are a reflection of his leadership and they will always play tough, inspired football.   SRT is g. 11 heavy and a legitimate threat in 2018 to run very, very deep in to the playoffs.  They still have some growing pains however. Gridiron's Pick: Fulton by 10

Prince George Polars vs Argyle Pipers:  If PGSS can cover what is easily one of the top three passing offenses in BC, this game is winnable.  The Polars can run the football very effectively, have a multitude of good backs and lots of size.  Argyle however, is truly dangerous via the air, effective running the ball and for a spread offense, they control the clock in superb fashion.  The qb release is the fastest in BC.  Defensively, they are fast and aggressive.  I think PG just has not seen anything even approximating what is coming down the pipes on Saturday via the air.  It is not something you can prepare for in one week if you have not been in that type of a fight all year.  I also like what Argyle has become as a program.  They are doing things the right way and it is no accident that they are in the playoffs yet again.  There is a lot of football passion and "program push" behind the Pipers varsity success these past four years.  GI's Pick: Argyle by 19

College Heights Cougars vs Hugh Boyd Trojans:  College Heights, typical of their conference, runs the ball very well.  Running teams almost always are a reflection of their offensive selves when playing defense.  The Cougars will be physical, tough tacklers.  I have seen nothing however from them in terms of passing the football that would make me spend a huge amount of time working on defending the pass if I was to play against them.  Hugh Boyd should be able to load up against the run with at least eight in the box.  The Trojans can run and pass with equal effectiveness, a highly balanced group offensively.  The Trojans are also very, very fast. They have played the toughest of schedules all year and they have not faltered.  On top of everything else, there is the Haddow factor.  Two 30 plus year coaching legends who have led great teams in all the big games at all levels of play.  Their players love and respect em and I am sure in their hearts, want to cap their careers with something special on the field.  GI's Pick: Trojans by 26  

AA JV Playoffs begin next week.  I will have a set of predictions up in next week's blog post.

Best of Luck to everyone on and off of the field.  God Bless!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

AA Varsity Week 9

AA Varsity Week Nine

Gridiron's Top 5

1.  Windsor Dukes
2.  Vernon Panthers
3.  Abbottsford Panthers
4.  G.W. Graham Grizzlies
5.  Clarence Fulton Maroons

GI's Picks

Friday 3rd

John Barsby @ Argyle: This game is big for two teams who are finishing out their regular season "banged-up".  If Barsby wins, they are looking at being the #2 seed in the division.  If Argyle wins, there will be a three way tie that comes down to a points differential between Hugh Boyd, Argyle and Barsby.  Doesn't get much more dramatic than that.  Both teams are evenly matched on paper and both teams can score fast/turn in the big play defensively.  This is a very tough game to pick.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 1

Langley @ Robert Bateman: Langley is coming off of a big win and has a lot of momentum on their side.  Bateman is going to be going all out to clinch the W as put a positive on the season.  GI's Pick: Langley by 7

G.W. Graham @ Abbottsford:  This will be the game of the week in AA Varsity Ball.  The meat-grinder running game of the Grizzlies vs the wide-open Abbey offense that can run the ball extremely well in space as well as threaten any part of the field via the air.  Graham will have its opportunities via the air as well when Abbey loads up to stop the run.  Line play and coverage will be massive factors when these two come to grips.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 7

Clarence Fulton @ Westsyde: Fulton is coming off of fantastic performance in a tight loss vs the powerhouse Vernon Panthers.   The Maroons have plenty of momentum going in to this one and gas in the tank.  Westsyde is well rested and will turn in a plucky performance.  The Fulton ground game is going to be too much for the Westsyde defense to handle however.  GI's Pick: Fulton by 17

Ballenas @ Windsor: Ballenas is the best team that is not playoff bound to be playing this weekend.  Windsor has clinched the first seed in their half of the playoff bracket.  Danger time for the Dukes.  Normally, a coach would roll his bench pretty liberally in such a game.  Coach Schuman however, does not have much bench to roll.  The options are clear.  Get a big lead fast and use run time to end the potential bleeding or play as non-kinetic and finesse as possible to try to obtain the same result.  The Whalers are going to bring their A game no doubt.  GI's Pick: Windsor by 18

Hugh Boyd @ Holy Cross:  HC is playing this one for pride and Boyd is going lights out to secure a possible second or third place playoff seeding.  The Crusaders are easily the second best team that won't be going to the playoffs this year, they are at home and if the weather is pass friendly, they are dangerous as spoilers.  GI's Pick: Trojans by 16

Valleyview @ South Kamloops:  Good wind-up game for both squads.  This tilt will help a lot with off season momentum and program morale both ways.  I think the Titans have a deeper bench and will lean on their guests heavily in the second half of this game.  GI's Pick: Titans by 13

Pitt Meadows @ SRT: Another big game in the East sees a great match-up between these two regional rivalry squads.  SRT has the depth in this one.  GI's Pick: Titans by 11

Gridiron's AA Junior Varsity Top 5

1.  Vernon Panthers
2.  Abbottsford Panthers
3.  Holy Cross Crusaders
4.  Ballenas Whalers
5.  D.P. Todd Trojans

Sunday, October 22, 2017

AA Varsity Week 8

AA Varsity Week Eight

Week Seven Wrap

Big wins for Barsby, Windsor, Fulton, Vernon, Argyle, Abbey and Graham have now set the stage for our final two weeks of play.  The foundation for playoff seeding has had its first pour.  Next week it gets another big payload.


John Barsby 34 Hugh Boyd 13
Windsor 38 Holy Cross 0
Abbottsford 56 Langley 2
Nechako Valley 40 Kelly Road 6
Vernon 53 South Kamloops 0
Argyle 21 Ballenas 14
Clarence Fulton 50 Valleyview 0
G.W. Graham 47 Pitt Meadows 14
Samuel Roberts Technical 12 Robert Bateman 0
Prince George 33 College Heights 8

Gridiron's Top 5

1. Windsor Dukes
2. Vernon Panthers 
3. Abbottsford Panthers
4. John Barsby Bulldogs
5. G.W. Graham Grizzlies

GI's Picks

Friday 27th

Windsor @ John Barsby: This is the biggest game of the year for both teams thus far.  Windsor has shredded all who have come before them this year.  Barsby has been playing spurts of good ball throughout though they sometimes start slow or struggle for a quarter or two before gaining momentum.  This game see's good match-ups in most areas.  The L.O.S. will be contested and Windsor will challenge the entire field offensively.  The Dukes can really cause trouble with their misdirection, tunnel screens, option and the PAP that they have off of their run game.  Defensively, they get to the ball very well and in many ways are a bit of a mirror image of the Dawgs.  Barsby has great balance in their offense and are a big play threat on any given down.  Special teams are good for both groups.  Home field goes to Barsby.  GI's Pick: The game will hinge on tackling and not giving up the big play.  Windsor by 10

Abbottsford @ Robert Bateman: Abbey is gelling at the exact right time of the year.  Bateman seems out of gas and out of fight.  Look for the Panther tailback to have another big day come Friday.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 21

Hugh Boyd @ Argyle:  This game is going to be uber-close.  Both teams run and pass the ball very well out of their similarly designed spread offenses.  Both teams fly to the football defensively and relish the physical part of the game.  Special teams are similar as well.  In terms of trajectory, Argyle is climbing and Boyd is gutting out a tough, competitive season.  I think the Trojans are the hungry team here by a small margin.  GI's Pick: Boyd by 6

Westsyde @ Valleyview:  Westsyde is better across the board in this cross-town match-up.  Having a bye last week will ensure they are fresh as well.  GI's Pick: Westsyde by 21

Vernon @ Clarence Fulton: Game of the year up in the Interior this weekend.  Vernon is going to get its run-defense tested-tested-tested come Friday.  Conversely, Fulton will have to defend the pass against an an aerial assault the likes of which they have not come close to seeing this year.  Adding to the fun is the fact that this is a cross-town rivalry pitting "haves" vs "have-nots".  Kicking game and turnovers loom large here.  If Fulton can handle Vernon's big man, this one could be extremely close.  GI's Pick: Vernon by 12

SRT @ G.W. Graham: On the face of things, the Grizzlies should run rough shod over the visiting Titans.  The success of their offense is power running behind a big o. line with a great big fast running back.  SRT has the athletes to crowd the box and make things tough sledding for Graham.  Seems alright in print, but so far, no one has put the breaks on the Graham attack.  SRT won't either.  GI's Pick: Grizzlies by 15

Langley @ Pitt Meadows: Both of these groups need a win in the worst way.  I think Pitt can put more up on the board, but barely.  GI's Pick: Pitt by 2

Saturday 28th

Holy Cross @ Ballenas: Both of these teams play tough.  Both have had their frustrations on the field this year.  Ballenas is home and they have a power running game to play behind.  HC is far more one dimensional offensively.  This said, the Whalers have struggled vs the spread passing game this season.  Special teams go to Ballenas.  GI's Pick:  Whalers by 16

Sunday 29th

College Heights @ Nechako Valley: This is a big one for seeding up North.  Both teams have stellar running attacks.  College Heights has more horses than their hosts.  GI's Pick: Cougars by 10

Gridiron's AA Junior Varsity Top 5

1.  Vernon Panthers
2.  Abbottsford Panthers
3.  Ballenas Whalers
4.  Holy Cross Crusaders
5.  Earl Marriot Mariners

Honourable Mention: SRT Titans, D.P. Todd Trojans

Sunday, October 15, 2017

AA Varsity Week 7

AA Varsity Week Seven

Week Six Wrap

The Hugh Boyd Trojans served notice they are going to compete for a high playoff seed with a big win over Ballenas as did Barsby with a good outing vs Holy Cross.  Windsor made a statement scoring 41 against a good Argyle crew and Abbey/G.W. Graham are setting the table for a future clash that will determine first place in the East.  Up North Westsyde had a big game against South Kamloops. 


John Barsby 31 Holy Cross 7
Windsor 41 Argyle 20
G.W. Graham 26 Robert Bateman 16
Hugh Boyd 30 Ballenas 20
SRT 14 Langley 10
Westsyde 32 South Kamloops 14
Abbottsford 48 Pitt Meadows 7

Gridiron's Top 5

1.  Windsor Dukes
2.  Vernon Panthers
3.  Abbottsford Panthers
4.  Hugh Boyd Trojans
5.  John Barsby Bulldogs

GI's Picks

Friday 20th

John Barsby @ Hugh Boyd: Big conference game here.  Both teams are on a roll and Hugh Boyd has emerged from a very tough pre-season battle hardened and ready to go!  The Trojans had their way all day long with a tough Ballenas crew on Friday while Barsby was having fits with Holy Cross during the first half of their game before blowing things open in the second half of the game.  The match-ups are good in this one on offense and defense with special teams looking to be contested as well.  Hugh Boyd can score very quick via the run and pass at any point on the field.  Barsby seems to be a bit more methodical.  Turnovers and penalties loom large as difference makers.  GI's Pick: Trojans by 7

Argyle @ Ballenas:  Argyle is faster than Ballenas and they play a very physical brand of football.  The Whalers will do well to mind their perimeter and pressure the Pipers as the Argyle passing game is very lethal when their qb gets in a groove.  I have not seen any teams have a lot of success via the air vs Windsor, but last week the Pipers chucked it well against them.  Ballenas can never be discounted, especially at home.  The grass surface will slow the game down a bit and the Whalers have a very capable power running game.  I have to give special teams to Ballenas in this game.  GI's Pick: Argyle by 6

Valleyview @ Clarence Fulton: The Fulton running game is the best in the province north of Hope.  The Maroon defense is a reflection of their offensive personality as well.  Too many challenges for Valleyview to have to overcome in this one.  GI's Pick: Fulton by 21

Abbottsford @ Langley: Abbey is really hitting their stride now with the fastest back in BC doing his thing out in space courtesy of the wide open spread offense that surrounds him.  It is a pick-your poison challenge for a better than average Langley squad because they still have to defend the Panther's elite passing game.  Things for the hosts to pray for....wind, driving rain and favorable turnovers.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 19

Robert Bateman @ SRT: Bateman is on the cusp of a breakthrough game and this weekend folks, they shall have it.  SRT will challenge the edge offensively, but I just don't see em having a whole lot of success inside or throwing the ball deep.  The Timberwolves on the other hand can really spray the ball around and have a decent run game to accompany the pass.  Defensively, they have been in games with some very good defenses/opposing offenses.  GI's Pick: Bateman by 12

South Kamloops @ Vernon:  Another weekend, another glorified scrimmage session for the Panthers who have no peer in the interior.  Lots of great stats however.  GI's Pick: Vernon by 28

G.W. Graham @ Pitt Meadows: The Grizzlies have their formula down.  Power football with a lethal spread passing game.   Pitt is going to have to crowd the box, man-up on the edge and fight like lions for 4 quarters.  Turnovers and a big play or two on offense for Pitt may help some.  GI's Pick: Graham by 19

Saturday 21st

Windsor @ Holy Cross:  Holy Cross is a lot better than their record would indicate.  This said, Windsor is the best team in AA Varsity Football right now and they will savage the Crusaders on the edge all afternoon long.  GI's Pick: Windsor by 26

Sunday 22nd

Prince George @ College Heights: This is for first and second place in the Northern Conference.  College Heights is on a roll people.  Momentum in HS Football is not to be underestimated.  GI's Pick: Cougars by 7

Gridiron's AA Junior Varsity Top 5

1.  Vernon Panthers
2.  Abbottsford Panthers
3.  Ballenas Whalers
4.  Holy Cross Crusaders
5.  Langley Saints

Monday, October 9, 2017

AA Varsity Week 6

AA Varsity Week Six

Week Five Wrap

This was only week one of conference play, but the fault lines in the regional divisions are already manifesting themselves to a degree.  Up North, it could be a two way race between PGSS and College Heights.  In the Interior, Vernon and Fulton look to be top-rail on the fence.  The Eastern Division seems to be Abbey and a chaotic brawl for the remaining playoff seeds.  The West is in a similar situation with Windsor looking great and then another dust-up behind em.  Looking forward to week six as it promises to be a dandy!


Argyle 27 Holy Cross 21
College Heights 60 Kelly Road 0
Prince George 18 Nechako Valley 14
John Barsby 21 Ballenas 13
Rutland 45 Valleyview 6
Clarence Fulton 45 South Kamloops 7
G.W. Graham 19 Langley 0
Vernon 59 Westsyde 0
Windsor 25 Hugh Boyd 14
Pitt Meadows 16 Robert Bateman 0
Abbottsford 49 SRT 14

Gridiron's Top 5

1. Windsor Dukes
2. Vernon Panthers
3. Abbottsford Panthers
4. Hugh Boyd Trojans
5. John Barsby Bulldogs

GI's Picks

Friday 13th

Holy Cross @ John Barsby: The difference between the week 1 and 2 Holy Cross team and the team that took the field for the first three quarters against Argyle last week is manifest.  The Crusaders are much, much improved and have really cleaned-up their game.  Barsby has been on a run of its own and they needed every bit of skill they had to overcome Ballenas in a game where they penalized themselves out of two touchdowns and stalled a couple more drives for the same reason.  The Dawg D has been pretty solid thus far and it will need to take its game to a new level as HC will challenge the whole field offensively.  Offensively, there is much balance in the Barsby attack and this will present the HC defense with challenges of its own. GI's Pick: Barsby by 12

Windsor @ Argyle: An emerging North Shore rivalry sees the Dukes on the road vs Argyle.  The Pipers are hitting their stride and play good, tough. aggressive football.  They will really need to be on top of their passing game on Friday as the Duke D has been clobbering opponent's run games of late.  Offensively, Windsor is a nightmare to defend with more misdirection than a plate of spaghetti!  The worst thing about it is the realization that while you are chasing ghosts, the ball is usually in the hands of the top duel threat quarterback in BC!  Windsor special teams have been lethal to date as well.  GI's Pick: Windsor by 24

Pitt Meadows @ Abbottsford: This is a potential trap game for Abbottsford.  Pitt is putting things together at their end and they match up well in space with the Panthers.  The big wild card here however and what I consider to be the game changer is the Abbey running back.  This guy is as good as it gets and he has a big line to run behind.  The Marauder defense will find itself spread too thin to be all things defense at the same time.  Get ready for a track meet.  GI's Pick: Abbottsford by 20

G.W. Graham @ Robert Bateman:  Upset alert!  Yes you heard it here.  Graham's big back is getting chewed up carrying the load for his team week after week and when the Grizzlies have to go to the rest of the playbook, they may find dust on the pages.  Bateman has to at least stalemate in the trenches and be efficient on offense to succeed.  Turnovers and the second half of this game will be story lines when the final whistle blows.  GI's Pick: Bateman by 2

Vernon @ Valleyview:  Vernon's second quarter performance last week is pretty much proof that all their conference games with the possible exception of Fulton will be glorified scrimmages from here on out.  This will be a good chance to roll the bench and tweak offensive/defensive schemes.  Valleyview will benefit from the experience in terms of program building.  GI's Pick: Vernon by 30 plus

Ballenas @ Hugh Boyd: Game of the week here folks!  Team speed goes to the Trojans.  The trenches go to the Whalers.  Size is a draw.  This one is going to be fun, fun, fun to watch!  Both defenses are opportunistic and like to bring heat.  Both make you defend the whole field.  Boyd is going to test the perimeter like no one Ballenas has faced this year.  There will be misdirection and trick plays for the Whalers to contend with too.  The forecast for the Trojan D is just as ominous however.  The Ballenas Offensive Line can steamroll folks and their counter game is excellent.  The play action pass game is great and just when you have your defensive self lined up to for a power running slugfest, bang, you are looking at a spread alignment that is very, very polished.  Special teams are going to be key in this game, particularly the Kick-Off/Kick Return game.  GI's Pick: Whalers by 2

SRT @ Langley:  Hey gang, this game is going to be a lights out contest between two programs who are most definitely on the rise in the East.  Both squads have some very good provincial class athletes on the roster.  Both squads like the physical stuff.  The difference on the scoreboard will be the defenses.  Langley has a more diversified offensive attack but the Titans have the more explosive athletes on their offense.  Whose defense can answer the bell best and create turnovers will decide this one.  GI's Pick: SRT by 7

South Kamloops @ Westsyde: This cross-town rivalry game will be close start-to-finish.  SKS has been coming along nicely this season.  Good roster numbers and consistent improvement.  Westsyde is much the same.  The Blue Wave is more battle hardened than the visitors however.  GI's Pick: Westsyde by 6

Saturday 14th

Kelly Road @ Nechako Valley: Looks like the wheels came off Kelly Road last weekend vs College Heights!  Nechako Valley on the other hand, gave a more physically gifted PGSS squad all they could handle in that tilt.  Momentum counts folks.  GI's Pick: Nechako Valley by 14

Sunday 15th

Duchess Park @ Prince George: The oldest HS sports rivalry in Prince George takes its football form on Sunday.  The Polars bring too much depth and talent to the dance for the visitors.  PGSS will run, run, run the ball to daylight all afternoon.  GI's Pick: Polars by 18

Gridiron's AA Junior Varsity Top 5

1.  Vernon Panthers
2.  Abbottsford Panthers
3.  Earl Marriot Mariners
4.  Ballenas Whalers
5.  S.R.T. Titans

Sunday, October 1, 2017

AA Varsity Week 5

AA Varsity Week Five

Week Four Wrap

Not the busiest weekend for games, but there are a few takeaways.  Barsby had a good win vs a Bateman team that kept things close til the end of the 3rd quarter.  Both teams are getting better as the year progresses.  Fulton and Argyle had big wins as well.  Ballenas in a tough loss, got a lot more battle hardened headed in to the season. 


John Barsby 32 Robert Bateman 12
West Vancouver 22 Ballenas 20
Nanaimo District 15 Pitt Meadows 12
Argyle 42 Howe Sound 0
Westsyde 33 Eric Hamber 0
Rutland 24 South Kamloops 0
Clarence Fulton 39 Valleyview 8

Gridiron's Top 5

1. Vernon Panthers
2.  Windsor Dukes
3.  Abbottsford Panthers
4.  Hugh Boyd Trojans
5.  G.W. Graham Grizzlies

GI's Picks

Friday 6th

SRT @ Abbottsford: SRT is closing the gap on the local competition in terms of athleticism and football IQ/Technical ability.  Closing isn't "closed" however and Abbey can score point lightning fast when they get rolling on all offensive cylinders.  This game will feature lots of scoring right out of the gates.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 18

John Barsby @ Ballenas:  The West is going to be lights out competitive this year and the "Border Battle" between Ballenas and Barsby will be emblematic.  The Whalers are always super tough at home and there will be no shortage of motivation when it comes to tangling with arch-rival Barsby.  Ballenas is balanced offensively and very opportunistic on defense.  Barsby is scoring at a decent clip and the Dawg D has been a physical presence thus far.  Special teams are big for both.  Kick-Offs in this game are going to be a show unto themselves.  GI's Pick: Dawgs by 2 

Hugh Boyd @ Windsor: AA Varsity Game of The Week right here folks.  Two superbly coached teams of athletes will collide in what will surely be a game of big plays in all phases of the game.  Each squad is a nightmare to defend and they bring great quickness to the field of play.  I have to go with the Dukes however as they are executing better and have been stingy with turnovers.  GI's Pick: Windsor by 11

Clarence Fulton @ South Kamloops: Fulton is the best interior team not called Vernon.  The Maroons are finding a way to win football games and will take another big step forward against the Titans.  GI's Pick: Fulton by 22

Westsyde @ Vernon: The Panthers spent their bye week licking wounds and tweaking schematic/personel issues that were exposed in a grueling series of exhibition games.  Westsyde has done well in September on the field and now they must face the music vs the top interior program. Its going to be hard for the Blue Wave to run and they are not good enough to win with a one dimensional offensive attack. GI's Pick: Vernon by 22

Langley @ G.W. Graham:  Graham's numbers aren't optimal, but what they do have is size, skill, experience and speed.  Langley is a year out from being able to compete with the Grizzlies.  Too many mismatches for an upset come Friday.  GI's Pick: Grizzlies by 18

Rutland @ Valleyview: Rutland will get its second win of the season vs the Vikings.  This is simply the case of more and better athletes vs a smaller draw.  Both teams will leave it all out on the field but the math don't lie.  GI's Pick: Voodoo by 23

Robert Bateman @ Pitt Meadows:  The Timberwolves are big, fast and physical.  Their passing game has improved week by week and when the receivers clean up some dropped balls, this will be an elite offense.  Defensively, Batemen is also improving.  Pitt has quietly, but steadily improved their game over the past few weeks as well.  Bateman is a more complete team however.  GI's Pick: Timberwolves by 16

Saturday 7th

Argyle @ Holy Cross: Another good, tough Western Conference match-up.  I would like to see this game in person.  My hunch is that the two teams are very similar athletically and that the ability to disrupt the pass will be critical along with coming out ahead in the turnover battle.  I think Argyle will pick away at any soft coverage they find and win time of possession come Saturday.  GI's Pick: Argyle by 11

Nechako Valley @ Prince George:  PG will run the ball early, often and with devastating effect this Saturday.  The Polars simply have more tools in the kit and will be able to overwhelm and wear out Nechako Valley.  GI's Pick: Polars by 17

Sunday 8th

Kelly Road @ College Heights:  Very good match-up here and a key game for divisional standing.  Both squads have superb numbers and have been playing relatively good football this year.  College Heights may have the edge however across the board.  GI's Pick: Cougars by 7

Gridiron's AA Junior Varsity Top 5

1.  Vernon Panthers
2.  Abbottsford Panthers
3.  SRT Titans
4.  Ballenas Whalers
5.  Earl Marriot Mariners

Sunday, September 24, 2017

AA Varsity Week 4

AA Varsity Week Four

Week Three Wrap

Vernon and Windsor, the top two teams in the province, did not falter as they delivered signature wins on Friday against a couple of AA's best in exhibition play.  Look out for these guys folks!  Argyle has woken up and Ballenas is really getting on top of their game.  The Holy Cross game vs Handsworth raised eyebrows, the Crusaders are getting better too!  Bateman played some tough defense and made just enough plays to win over West Vancouver.  Barsby is putting up pretty good numbers on the scoreboard setting the stage for a real litmus test vs Bateman next Friday.  Clarence Fulton has to be feeling pretty good about themselves as well.


Pitt Meadows 52 Eric Hamber 0
John Barsby 42 Spectrum 6
Ballenas 34 Nanaimo 9
Handsworth 19 Holy Cross 14
Robert Bateman 7 West Vancouver 6
Windsor 44 Abbottsford 27
Clarence Fulton 28 Rutland 21
Argyle 34 Langley 14
Westsyde 29 Frank Hurt 28
Vernon 31 Hugh Boyd 13

Gridiron's Top 5

1. Vernon Panthers
2. Windsor Dukes
3. Abbottsford Panthers
4. Ballenas Whalers
5. Hugh Boyd Trojans

GI's Picks

Friday 29th

Rutland (AAA) @ South Kamloops: The Titans and Voodoo are eagerly anticipating this game as each team looks for a positive headed in to league competition.. Seasons can find their turn-around point in such a contest. Rutland has the deeper bench and a bigger school to draw from.  GI's Pick: Rutland by 7

Robert Bateman @ John Barsby: Very interesting match-up here!  Bateman has been playing the tough games throughout the pre-season and is very battle tested.  Barsby has been quietly building program momentum over the first three weeks of the pre-season.  One last test for both squads heading in to league play.  The Timberwolves are very tall and fast across the board behind both their offensive and defensive lines.  Barsby gives up some height and the speed game is a draw from what I can tell.  Barsby may have a slight edge in terms of size in the trenches.  Special teams could be a big difference maker on Friday. GI's Pick: Barsby by 6

Nanaimo District (AAA) @ Pitt Meadows:  Good game for both programs.  NDSS is looking for some light to rally around as pre-season draws to a close.  Pitt is on a roll and coming off of a big win.  The schemes each team runs will challenge one another. Look for an Islander rebound. GI's Pick: NDSS by 6

Clarence Fulton @ Duchess Park: The Maroons are playing some good football right now.  This road trip will be big when they look back on their season. GI's Pick: Maroons by 10

Eric Hamber @ Westsyde: The Blue Wave are having a nice season thus far.  Hamber just got dusted by a big score.  Good team building trip to Kamloops for the YVR boys.  GI's Pick: Westsyde by 16

Saturday 30th

Ballenas @ West Vancouver (AAA): Ballenas looked really good on Friday night.  They have taken their game to a whole new level in every facet of the game.  They are big, fast and very solid up front on the offensive line.  There is more than one player that gets the ball in his hands who can rip off a big play at any given time.  The Highlanders are going to be TESTED on Saturday, especially on defense.  GI's Pick: Whalers by 17

Argyle @ Howe Sound: Argyle got themselves the signature win they were looking for this season in their tilt vs Langley.  This weekend's game will be more of the same as they get ready for league play.  Lots of scoring in this one. GI's Pick: Argyle by 24

Sunday 1st

College Heights @ Kelly Road: Big Game up in PG!  College Heights is on an up year as is Kelly Road.  Honestly, I love to see HS Football taking off in Prince George.  Special place in my heart for that town.  The Roadrunners will squeak by in this one.  GI's Pick: Roadrunners by 2

Gridiron's AA Junior Varsity Top 5

1.  Vernon Panthers
2.  Abbottsford Panthers
3.  Ballenas Whalers
4.  SRT Titans
5.  Earl Marion Mariners

Sunday, September 17, 2017

AA Varsity Week 3

AA Varsity Week Three

Week Two Wrap

Windsor did not leave any doubt in their 2017 debut versus Pitt Meadows en-route to a 54-7 romp. No slow starts this year for the Dukes! Things came down to the wire for Vernon as they tangled with a superb Cochrane Alberta squad.   Hugh Boyd got themselves a quality win over Bateman and Langley is putting a lot of points on the board.   You gotta love Fulton getting its first win over Omak WA!  Well done Maroons!!


Cochrane AB 28 Vernon 24
John Barsby 35 SRT 6
Hugh Boyd 33 Robert Bateman 14
Langley 44 Frank Hurt 7
STM 38 Abbottsford 0
Notre Dame 54 Holy Cross 0
Belmont 31 Ballenas 21
Nechako Valley 19 South Kamloops 13
G.W. Graham 35 Argyle 12
Clarence Fulton 19 Omak WA 14
South Widbey WA 42 Valleyview 8
Windsor 54 Pitt Meadows 7

Gridiron's Top 5

1. Windsor Dukes
2. Vernon Panthers
3. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
4. Hugh Boyd Trojans
5. Prince George Polars

GI's Picks

Friday 22nd

Rutland (AAA) @ Clarence Fulton: I am going with Clarence Fulton in this one.  A big win last week against US competition shows they are primed to make a run in the Interior.  GI's Pick: Fulton by 10

John Barsby vs Spectrum: Barsby beware!  Spectrum has come of age on the Island and is playing really good football.  The Thunder have good numbers and are playing with an edge.  This said, Barsby improved from week 1 to week 2 across the board and the Dawgs are showing some promising things in terms of team play.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 14

Hugh Boyd @ Vernon: Double A game of the week right here folks.  The Trojans are 2-0 and have been playing some stellar ball.  Vernon at home is always, always tough and their week 2 loss was by the narrowest of margins vs one of the best programs in Alberta. GI's Pick: Vernon by 8

Robert Bateman @ West Vancouver (AAA):  I think Bateman gets their first win of the year on Friday.  The Timberwolves are improving week-to-week and they have a good bunch of athletes on the roster.  GI's Pick: Bateman by 7

Windsor @ Abbottsford: Abbey gets its first taste of AA competition this week and it is going to be a major challenge against a Windsor squad just licking its chops for this one. The Dukes are very, very balanced offensively and two years ago were up to the task in the JV semi's of shutting down one of BC's best running backs.  I don't see a change in this version of the series.  GI's Pick: Dukes by 16

Handsworth (AAA) @ Holy Cross: Both of these teams are looking to rebound from a pounding in week 2.  I believe that Handsworth has the deeper roster of the two and the speed/size match-ups are similar.  GI's Pick: Royals by 17

Ballenas @ Nanaimo District (AAA):  The Whalers have been frustrated in fairly close games week 1 and 2.  The Islanders have been short benched in their opening couple of rounds.  Size to the Whalers and all else is a pretty good match-up.  GI's Pick: Whalers by 18

Frank Hurt @ Westsyde: This one goes to the home team.  Westsyde has a more mature roster and has been playing good scrappy ball thus far.  GI's Pick: Westsyde by 14

Eric Hamber @ Pitt Meadows: Good match-up here.  I am going to give this one to Eric Hamber on a couple big pass plays.  GI's Pick: Hamber by 7

Saturday 23rd

Nechako Valley @ Duchess Park:  This game will be close for two and a half quarters until the depth of the Condor roster has a say.  GI's Pick: Duchess by 8

Valleyview @ Argyle: Valleyview continues to travel and play quality competition.  This week they will again get all they can handle vs Argyle.  The Pipers are going to rebound in a big way from their game last week here.  Look for lots of scoring in this one sided affair.  GI's Pick: Argyle by 30

Sunday 24th

Prince George @ College Heights: Good match-up in the Northern Conference on Sunday.  Prince George has the best backfield north of Vernon and a good crew on both sides of the ball to accompany them.  GI's Pick: Polars by 17

Gridiron's AA Junior Varsity Top 5

1.  Vernon Panthers
2.  Abbottsford Panthers
3.  Ballenas Whalers
4.  Robert Bateman Timberwolves
5.  Earl Marriot Mariners

Sunday, September 10, 2017

AA Varsity Week 2

AA Varsity Week Two

Week One Wrap

Looking at the scores and some video, there were several statement games made in the opening week of play.  Vernon, despite multiple turnovers, served notice that it intends to return to the big game in December!  Even with week 1 sloppiness, these guys were a league apart from Bateman.  Size, speed, experience and offensive balance abound with the Panther Program.  Prince George is going to be a wrecking ball up north as Valleyview found out the hard way.  In a loss that was closer than the score, Argyle played very well against AAA powerhouse Mt. Douglas.  I think the Pipers are a darkhorse to watch as the season unfolds.  Over in the Valley is was tough sledding for Abbey vs 2017 AAA finalist Notre Dame.  The Panther program will get better week to week however.  GW Graham outlasted Ballenas in a tight contest on Friday.  Both of these squads will likely challenge for divisional supremacy this year.  


Pitt Meadows 14 Spectrum 12
Prince George 42 Valleyview 0
SRT 30 Frank Hurt 14
College Heights 21 Nechako Valley 16
Mt. Douglas 27 Argyle 6
Notre Dame 34 Abbottsford 7
John Barsby 35 Nanaimo District 14
Handsworth 16 Hugh Boyd 13
Westsyde 29 Kelly Road 8
Vernon 42 Robert Bateman 7
G.W. Graham 25 Ballenas 20
Mt. Baker WA 56 Clarence Fulton 14
St. Thomas Moore 34 Holy Cross 0

Gridiron's Top 5

1. Windsor Dukes
2. Vernon Panthers
3. Abbottsford Panthers
4. Prince Georges Polars
5. Hugh Boyd Trojans

GI's Picks

Thursday 14th

Cochrane AB @ Vernon: Cochrane is a famed and storied program in the Province of Alberta. Vernon is reaching similar status in BC.  All this aside, I believe this could be game of the week material on Thursday!  Vernon's biggest opponent it would seem thus far is themselves.  Once they clean up their turnovers, look out!  The Panthers will be ready come Thursday Night.  GI's Pick: Vernon by 8

Friday 15th

Hugh Boyd @ Robert Bateman: The Rosters on these teams seem very evenly matched.  The game itself is going to come down to who can run/stop the run game.  I have to give the edge to Hugh Boyd in this capacity.  GI's Pick: Trojans by 7

SRT @ John Barsby: This will be a solid match-up for both squads.  SRT has great edge speed and a veteran QB and his backfield/receivers returning from JV semi-finals last season. The Barsby linebackers and defensive backs will have their hands full come Friday!  Barsby is big up front so this could turn in to a real contest on the edge.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 8

Nechako Valley @ South Kamloops: The Titans are playing at home and they have a bigger, deeper roster than the visitors.  The visitors however, have a game under their belt and that really helps as the jump from week 1 to week 2 is usually pretty big in terms of working out all the kinks.  SKS will run the ball effectively on Friday.  GI's Pick: Titans by 11

G.W. Graham @ Argyle: Intriguing game, really intriguing.  G.W. Grahams power running game versus the Argyle passing game.  Defensively both teams play tough.  Argyle is coming off of a big game vs Mt. Douglas so I don't think they are the least bit intimidated by the Grizzlies.  Turnovers loom large in this affair.  GI's Pick: Argyle by 2

Fank Hurt @ Langley: This game shouldn't separate on the scoreboard til mid 3'rd quarter. Langley will need to limit turnovers and get on top of their run game to win.  I think they are up to the task. GI's Pick: Saints by 10

St. Thomas Moore (AAA) @ Abbottsford: Another tough game for Abbey this week.  Another opportunity to find their better football angels.  STM is a very good football team and will be pouring it on vs their AA opponent.  I think that Abbey cleans up its offense and the defense matches up better than week 1.  Still not enough. GI's Pick: STM by 16

Carence Fulton @ Omak WA: Round two of Clarence Fulton vs the state of Washington.  This game between Omak and Fulton has been played for over a decade.  The score is usually a 40 point margin for the hosts.  This said, Coach Scheller is one of the good ones and he knows that his team harvests a lot of intangibles from the game.  GI's Pick: Omak by 40

Holy Cross @ Notre Dame (AAA): The Crusaders are on leg two of their gridiron tour against the rest of "the flock" this weekend.  "Iron sharpens Iron" and STM and Notre Dame are great opponents to hone an edge against.  Notre Dame is deeper on the bench and has too many offensive weapons at its disposal for H.C. to handle.  The defensive speed of the Jugglers is also impressive.  GI's Pick: Jugglers by 22

Westsyde @ Salmon Arm: Westsyde had a pretty comprehensive victory this past weekend.  Having a game under their belt will be a big help as Salmon Arm is a very large AA school with some impressive athletes on the roster.  This one will be pretty close.  GI's Pick: Golds by 7

Valleyview @ South Widbey (WA): Good on Valleyview for playing this game.  This will be a great experience for the players and another step in their evolution on the football field.  GI's Pick: Widbey by 20

Belmont (AAA) @ Ballenas: This game has become quite the Island rivalry in recent years as both programs seem fairly aligned philosophically and in style of play.  They coincidentally sport very similar uniforms and offensive schemes as well!  There will be a JV game between the two programs preceding this contest so the varsity tilt will be Sr. heavy with very little help from the JV roster for both teams.  Ballenas lost a heart breaker to G.W. Graham on Friday and is now spoiling for a chance at redemption.  Belmont had a bye.  The Whalers will have worked out some kinks entering week 2. The past couple years, Belmont has won the physical contest vs Ballenas.  This year the up Island crew is going to have to raise their game in that area.  Perimeter play will be big for both teams.  I think Belmont wins a few athletic match-ups vs the Whaler secondary.  GI's Pick: Belmont by 12

Windsor @ Pitt Meadows: The Dukes are traditionally very slow starters.  This year however, they are so veteran in the scheme and so good athletically that they will defy "tradition" and score a bushel of points in this contest.  Look for a big day from the Duke quarterback running and throwing the football.  GI's Pick: Dukes by 22

Sunday 17th

Prince George @ Kelly Road: If the Polars were somehow named the PGSS WileE Coyoteees they would find a way to outsmart themselves and lose this game vs the Road Runners. That ain't the case however and the Polars are gonna flatten some birds with their steam roller of a team come Sunday. If there is not 250 plus yards of PGSS rushing, I will dine on my hat Sunday night.  Keep an eye on these guys folks.  GI's Pick: Polars by 28
  College Heights @ Duchess Park:  The Condors had a very good JV squad last year with a lot of talent moving up.  College Heights got a good win under their belt last week and has some momentum on their side.  GI's Pick: Condors by 7

Gridiron's AA Junior Varsity Top 5

1.  Vernon Panthers
2.  Ballenas Whalers
3.  Abbottsford Panthers
4.  Robert Bateman
5.  Pitt Meadows

Monday, September 4, 2017

AA Varsity Week 1

Gridiron's Week 1

Welcome back everyone!  Here's wishing everyone at every level and role in AA ball a hec of a season!  Stay safe and have a tonne of fun folks!

GI's Picks

Westsyde @ Kelly Road:  This is a great season opener for both programs.  Great to see the North and the Interior having regular cross-over games.  I like Westsyde in this game as they are deeper in terms of strength of schedule over the years.  The Blue Wave players will have an edge in this regard. GI's Pick: Westsyde by 10

Mt. Douglas(AAA) @ Argyle: Mt. Douglas is going to bring a load of very, very talented players to this game.  The Pipers are outmatched at every position and the game will get away from them early on.  This said, kudos for playing the game Argyle and you will surely emerge a whole lot tougher and game ready as a result.  Look for the Rams to air out the ball.  GI's Pick: Rams by 30

Notre Dame (AAA) @ Abbottsford: Notre Dame was in the big dance at AAA last year.  Abbey was not far off themselves.  I am going to call an upset alert here.  Home field will matter and the Panthers are not going to be out sized or out-run.  The Jugglers graduated some great talent and will have to find out who they are this year in terms of identity.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 6 

Vernon @ Robert Bateman:  These guys played a real competitive game last year in week 1.  I think however that Vernon is deeper and Bateman is transitioning from triple option to a new scheme. Vernon wins the battle of accrued offensive reps and they have a deeper bench. GI's Pick: Panthers by 18 

Ballenas @ GW Graham: Ballenas will shred the Grizzly defensive edge when these two rivals clash.  The Whalers are deeper, bigger and on balance, faster than the host squad.  GW Graham has an elite running back and he is a game changer, especially with help.  GI's Pick: Whalers by 21

Nanaimo District (AAA) @ John Barsby: Great neighborhood rivalry here to kick-off the season for both teams.   As usual, there are tonnes of story lines between the players and coaches.  Getting down to brass tacks, the edge in size go's to Barsby this year.  Speed is a toss-up and roster depth definitely go's to the Islanders.  The game will likely hinge on some big plays.  Tough one to call but I get paid the big bucks to do just that.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 4

Handsworth (AAA) @ Hugh Boyd: Handsworth is having a renaissance of sorts with their football program.  They will bring a deep and talented bench with them to this game.  Boyd however is on home turf and is veteran in and among themselves.  The Trojans will bring offensive balance and some tough defense to the affair.  If the Royals can get all over the Boyd running back (he's a good one!) the game could get one dimensional for the host squad in a hurry.  GI's Pick: Boyd by 3

Mt. Baker WA @ Clarence Fulton: Fulton likes to schedule US squds early on in the season.  It is usually lop sided on the scoreboard, but I have to believe that Coach Scheller sees something intrinsically good with this practice.  The visitors will likely go for a romp over the Maroons come game day.  Fulton however, will be a better Fulton on Monday's practice field. GI's Pick: Mt. Baker by 40

Valleyview @ PGSS: The Polars are at home. The Polars are bigger.  The Polars are deeper. The Polars are faster.  The Polars are nastier.  If Valleyview changed its name from the Vikings to "Seal Meat"....well, it would be appropriate.  GI's Pick: Polars by 20 plus

Spectrum @ Pitt Meadows: Great opening tilt here.  Spectrum is my co- favorite to win Tier 2 this year and Pitt is much deeper than than they were last year.  The home field advantage for the Marauders will help a lot.  I think Spectrum may start a bit slow and they best hope they don't get down more than two scores early.  If they can stay with Pitt in the late rounds, it is a toss-up.  GI's Pick: Pitt by 13

SRT @ Frank Hurt: Frank Hurt had some excellent players last year in the 9th, 10th and 11th grades!  These guys were big and talented.  They took some hard knocks, but always answered the bell!  They are my co-favorite for the Tier 2 title.  SRT has some serious mojo going and if they can reign in their emotions and not take dumb penalties, they will be in the drivers seat come the 4th quarter.  They certainly are talented.  GI's Pick: Titans by 18

College Heights @ Nechako Valley:  These two teams play each other hard.  Nechako Valley is pretty tough to bet against at home however.  GI's Pick: The Sons of Vanderhoof by 7

AA Varsity 2018 Pre-Season Rankings

AA Varsity Pre-Season Top 10

1. Windsor Dukes: The Dukes are loaded for bear and you can always tell that Coach Schuman is going to make a run when Coach Al Wilson is on the staff.  These guys will get tougher every week. A nightmare to come up against when the playoff tourney begins.

2. Abbottsford Panthers: Abbey will be an offensive hydra with great run-pass balance.  The best running back in BC resides here and he has a steam roller offensive line up front!

3. Vernon Panthers:  This program is fully mature and the school attracts the best players in town!  Moreover, the Panthers have lived deep in the post-season the past three years and they have not altered what they do offensively and defensively to any significant degree.  The players pick-up where they left off the season before and simply do things faster than the year before.  Fabulous depth at every position.  Windsor and Abbey are going to be looking over their shoulder all season long.

4. Prince George Polars: This team has it all and is uber-deep at the running back position.  The top running back in JV last year makes his Varsity debut and he has company with two more players who are not far off.  There is size up front and playoff experience.  The Polars will be a force to reckon with!

5. Hugh Boyd Trojans: Hungry, deep and very well coached, the men of Troy are looking to finish this season with a vengence!  The quarterback position is an unknown to some extent, but the offensive line, receivers and their defensive counterparts are big, deep and experienced.

6. Ballenas Whalers: Ballenas will field its best varsity squad since 2013.  These guys are BIG and the backfield speed is tremendous.  There will be offensive wrinkle on top of offensive wrinkle  and the defense can really get after people via the blitz and edge speed.

7. Robert Bateman Timberwolves:  The offensive line returns en masse and there will be a lot of run-pass balance from these guys.  Look for a bigger role from the pass game with Bateman. Defensively, it will be pressure, pressure, pressure.  This group could be a dark horse in 2017

8. SRT Titans:  This program is on the rise.  The JV's fielded a dominant squad last season that ran deep in to the playoff.  The guys moving up to varsity are ballers and they don't shy away from the rougher side of the game.  Keep an eye on em!

9. Argyle Pipers:  The Pipers have a big school to draw from in terms of numbers, their staff has had great continuity, they don't stray to far from their schemes year after year and winning has become a habit with the program.  This crew will get better as the season unfolds and should crash the playoff tourney all things considered.

10. Holy Cross Crusaders: Old school rough and tumble best describes this crew.  Blocking, tackling, catching and running their way to being in position to win games when they count.  It has been fun over the years watching the coaching staff bring their understudies to playoff form come November. Look for a big run emphasis from the Crusaders.  Defensively, you will see a reflection of the offense they scrimmage against week after week.

Monday, May 29, 2017